Saturday, October 1, 2016

Guiding Hannah and Sandy in 4 Musandam dives, with Nomad Ocean Adventure

My logged dives #1495-1498

Our plans changed with the wind this weekend. I had been planning to conduct a dive course for a mother / son pair but found out the weekend beforehand that their eLearning was out of date, so that got postponed. Meanwhile I had offered to help Chris out at Nomad if he needed me this weekend, but when the course got postponed, Bobbi and I started making plans to go to Oman and dive Daymaniyats. Our holiday had not yet been officially confirmed by my employers for Sunday but it seemed it would be a three-day weekend, a good time to go to Oman and deal with delays at the border coming back across, not having to work on Sunday.

By Sunday the week before I hadn't heard back from Chris so I confirmed the Daymaniyats trip, and then finally heard from Nomad staff that they were counting on me to guide some customers who had requested that service. Chris, the owner of Nomad, has been so good to us, I felt I should honor my offer to help, never mind the timing on the uptake, especially as Chris would have had only one day to find someone else and get that person a permit to cross the border, and Chris smoothed the decision with free diving, room, and board, so I postponed our Oman plans to the following weekend.

Chris was having staff changes and there were only two dive pros to manage two boats going to Musandam Friday and Saturday that weekend. The customer who had requested a private guide was doing an advanced course, but I was to look after his wife Hannah, and their friend Sandy, for the days he would be on the course, Friday and Saturday. So while the Nomad staff managed the other divers, I got to conduct some very nice dives, as you can see in the videos that follow ...

In the first video from Friday September 30, Vance and Bobbi are guiding Hannah and Sandy over colorful coral reefs teeming with jacks, fusiliers, and triggerfish, hiding morays and crayfish, home to turtles, picturesque bannerfish, and a motionless scorpionfish. A rainbow broomtail wrasse is seen with an anxious jack trying to blend in with big brother for protection.

Next day, we're on Octopus Rock in the first segments, with morays and crayfish around the rock, jacks and fusiliers on the rock itself, and a batfish obviously enjoying being administered to by wrasse. Then at Ras Sanut Bobbi finds a big crayfish with a story. It's crawling on the roof of its lair and has dislodged the top of an oyster shell. A fish is quick to exploit the exposed oyster and the crayfish is in an unfamiliar attitude, backing away with difficulty from the intruding divers. Soon after we come across a rare mottled eel. We've seen them in this area before. And on the same rock just behind we notice a cuttlefish, well camouflaged there against the brittle stars. At one point in my video, he seems to disappear. Finally I spot a feathertailed ray out on the sand. This is right off the field of raspberry coral where we've seen these rays before, so dive off that coral and there's a good chance you'll see one.

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